I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that consumers are finally beginning to trust brands’ ability to create content that entertains, excites, and inspires. The bad news is that you now have more responsibility than ever to give them that content.
Right now you should be thinking, “that’s not bad news, that’s an opportunity.” If you are, then you’re absolutely right. And if you’re not thinking that, then start. Your consumers are craving awesome content to share with their family and friends, and this post will help you in creating that share-worthy video content.
Keep it Simple
You’ve heard of the K.I.S.S. method, right? You know, “Keep It Simple, Stupid?” Well, that also applies to video. The easiest rule of thumb to follow is the Rule of One. Even though that’s not an actual thing, the concept is so simple that it should be:
One Video = One Message = One Idea
What’s the most important message you want to communicate to your audience? Don’t overwhelm the viewer by trying to tell them everything at once or by making them feel every emotion in the book.
This North Face video sticks to one concept: celebrating the places that connect us to our environment, and to each other.
It inspires you to start exploring, to head outside, to find a new approach to life—in a straightforward yet unobtrusive way.
Get Inspiration From Insight
So how do you come up with this central idea or message? Do yourself a favor, stop strategizing and simply listen. The best sources of inspiration already exist—your product and your customer.
The American Greetings viral campaign is the perfect example of pairing customer insight with product truth. The idea for the video emerged from observing a common and rather unfortunate societal behavior: people don’t appreciate or value the difficult job of motherhood. The brand, which aims to build meaningful connections through its cards, set out to properly honor their important role by getting people to see Mom in a different light.
All because of that one customer insight, the video was able to strike an emotional chord with millions of viewers who experienced laughs, and tears, and discovered a newfound appreciation for what might just be the world’s toughest job.
Tap Into Human Need
We all have needs and wants. It’s our inherent job as human beings, as consumers.
So, what human needs and wants does your product or service fulfill or reinforce? Figuring out the answer to this question (as objectively as possible) is your job.
The GoPro HERO4 video isn’t about the camera, it’s about the moments it documents. It satisfies the same human desire that you and I and everyone else feels—the desire to capture and share the experiences that bring purpose, adventure, and joy to our lives.
It’s not surprising that GoPro’s approach has been so successful. The brand dreams up stunning campaigns with one thing in common: they all tap into an essential truth about being human.
Make an Emotional Connection
Authenticity isn’t something that you can fake. Consumers are smart. David Ogilvy spoke to this on behalf of consumers everywhere with his famously brazen remark:
“The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence, and don’t shock her.”
Consumers expect sincerity and respect from the brands they choose to support. Beyond a great product or service, it’s the passion and cause at the core of a brand that builds this much deeper emotional connection with the customer. And one of the best ways to foster personal, meaningful, and relevant relationships with your consumer is through personal, meaningful, and relevant video content.
Always creates this deeper connection through its #LikeAGirl campaign.
The reason why you find yourself so captivated by this video is because Always tells a story that’s both authentic and transparent. Because all of the people in the video are genuinely invested, Always is able to build a powerful, emotional association with their brand.
If you want your audience to believe in your message, then you have to believe in it, too.
Add Practical Value
There’s a reason why “life hacks” are so popular: we all want to learn new ways of doing everyday tasks and new uses for everyday objects. This is why tutorials and “how-to” videos are shared so much.
If you want your video to get shared, then share a little secret with your audience. General Electric takes this to a whole new level with its #6SecondScience Fair.
Sometimes, the best way to gain attention and respect is by providing utility and making the lives of your consumers just a little little bit easier.
Give Them a Reason to Share
This may seem pretty intuitive, but giving the consumer a reason to share is usually sprinkled on at the last minute instead of being baked right into the video from the start. As viewers and sharers, we are a little more predictable than we want to think. Most people share content based on social motivators—whether it be for social good, social utility, or reaction seeking.
This is the reason why Real Beauty Sketches is one of the most successful online ads ever, with over 163 million views and over 4 million shares globally. Dove launched the campaign with a clear goal: turn beauty into a source of confidence, not anxiety, for women. With social good as a driving force behind it, the film was able to ignite a global conversation about the definition of beauty.
With comments such as “this made me cry” and “I showed this to my high school students the other day. It made a real impact on them,” there is no denying that Dove has made a difference in women’s lives with Dove Real Beauty Sketches. And with a clear reason to share, the video also achieved its second goal: building brand love and loyalty.
To Fernando Machado, Dove Skin Global VP, the social good the ad inspired was worth every penny:
“If Dove Real Beauty Sketches has inspired women to see the beauty in themselves that others do, we consider the campaign a success.”
The Good News and the Bad News
Like I said before, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that all of these concepts are simple. We are all human beings, so the content that you would share is the same content that your consumer would, too.
The bad news is that there’s a difference between being simple and being easy. Creating shareable video content while fostering an authentic and lasting connection with your customers is hard work. It requires a lot of passion, and passion isn’t something that is easily scalable.
But there’s more good news. Creating shareable video content is all about creating advertising that comes from your core. And this means you don’t have to outspend or outshine anyone else. You simply have to think and be human.